Compare the Features of a Canon XH-A1 & a Canon XL2
The main differences between the Canon XH-A1 and the Canon XL2 are the fact that the XL2 is standard definition, heavyweight and has a removable lens, while the XH-A1 is a high-definition camera, is lightweight and has an affixed lens. Compare these two digital camcorders with tips from a professional videographer in this free video on cameras.
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Comparing the Canon XL2 Camera and the Canon XHA1 really is like comparing apples and oranges, they are two different animals completely. The Canon XL2 of course doesn't do high definition so you have got a nice standard definition camera. It is a heavy camera. It is well built, made to be sat up on your shoulder like this. The weight is there for a reason to give you a good firm hold and a good non-shaky picture. The Canon XL2 has the removable lens which gives you the opportunity of adding an EF adapter and using your Canon EOS system and EF lenses. You can put a 20 power or a 16 power. I use a 3Y power for my interviews a Y23 power lens. It is a well built camera. It also has four channel sound which is a nice thing if you are going to do a music or a band or something like that. That comes in real handy. The weight of it is about eight pounds, about nine pounds with the 20 and the eye piece is actually just a magnification of the lens of the LCD panel so you have one lens at a time and you can either use it with the eye piece if it is bright or without it if you are indoors. The power wheel is pretty much the same as on the Canon XHA1. Now the Canon XHA1 which I wish I could show but actually that is what I am filming this with. It is much lighter. It is more menu driven, less of the buttons are on the outside of it. They are more inside of it. It has a fixed lens so it is a 20 power lens so it doesn't go down quite as wide as my 3 to wide lens does on my XL2 but it is adequate you just step back about three more feet and you can still use it for your interviews and you still have that reach out power of the 20 power lens. It also has two ways to look. It has got the lens and the eye piece separate. The lens on it is bigger and wider because it shoots at 69 then the one that comes on the XL2. The nicest thing about it and the reason that I bought the XHA1 is it s a very well priced camera to shoot in high definition with. You can go up to the G1 which is about 4 or 5 thousand dollars more and get those extra benefits that they have but the XHA1 camera is very nice. It is very light, it doesn't move around. It doesn't sit on your shoulder as much but it is so light that you can hold it in your hand like a regular camera. It has two channel sound. It has the outlets for the headphones and to feed out to your external monitor. Another really nice thing about the Canon XH is that it has a memory card so you can take still photos and save them on a memory card and take the memory card out and throw it into your computer to download it so that is kind of an advantage I haven't used a lot yet but the pictures do come out nice with a high definition camera like this and you can save them in whatever format you want so you can get a nice 69 high definition still photo. So if you need to do drop ins or anything like that for a project you can do that with that camera. So it is really a nice all in one camera and I am really happy I have got it. I really like that I have the two of them. When I go to weddings I have two high quality cameras and I can set them both on 69, I can set them both on standard definition and I can do a two camera shoot at the wedding. I can set up the XL2 with the hard wire sound and take the Canon XHA1 and put my lav mike on it and walk around with it so I get two sets of sound and I usually do a backup sound to weddings because you only get one shot at those. So it really will make a nice system for me for weddings, for other photography, if I want to go on a backpacking trip and get some travel photography I'll take the smaller XH and shoot it in high def because it will most likely go on TV anyway so really good system. Can't say anything wrong about either camera. I've been real happy with both of them. High def is a little more intense when it comes to editing and you can run into more problems with your editing program but other than that I am real happy with both cameras.